Chennai:Skipper Joe Root became the first player to score a double hundred in his 100th test and Ben Stokes smashed a stroke filled 82 to guide a resolute England to a commanding 555 for eight at close on the second day of the first cricket test against India here today.
Dom Bess was batting on 28 (84 balls, 5x4) and giving him company was left handed Jack Leach on six (28 balls) when the stumps were drawn on yet another hot and humid day.For India speedsters Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah and spinners, offie R Ashwin and left armer Shahbaz Nadeem claimed two wickets each.
After two tiring sessions for the Indian bowlers despite getting rid off left hander Ben Stokes, who missed out a well deserved hundred after dominating the 124 fourth wicket stand with his skipper, Indians came back strongly in the final session picking up four wickets before Bess and Leach saw off the day without further loss, adding 30 in 66 balls for the ninth wicket. Stokes, who joined Root on the second morning after Simbley fell in the last over yesterday, made his intentions clear.
He launched a calculated assault against the spinners and made a stroke-filled 82 in 118 balls with ten fours and three sixers, before his slog sweep off left arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was held by a juggling Cheteswara Pujara at long leg fence.
However, a disciplined Root continued to torment the Indian bowlers with an innings that was high on character, sound in technique and solid in defence, despite Ashwin varying his line and length and Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar troubling the batsmen as the odd ball kept low, bounced and drifted.
Root, who held one end up, used the feet well against the spinners and rocked back to find the cover and point fence when they pitched short, and played the fast bowlers with a straight bat and soft hands.Root brought up his fifth double hundred and first against India in style with a six off Ashwin over long on.
It was his third double hundred in the last four innings. He scored 226 against New Zealand at Hamilton and 228 against Sri Lanka at Galle, which was also interspersed with 186 in the same venue.Earlier, Root, who batted deep and long, became the seventh player to score 150-plus runs in three successive tests and second player as captain after Don Bradman.
After Stokes, Root added 86 runs for the fifth wicket in 26.1 overs with Ollie Pope (34, 89 balls 3x4), who offered good support, before he was trapped in front by Ashwin.Two overs later, Root's magnificient innings ended when he tried to play Shahbaz Nadeem with a forward stride and was given leg before. He was quick to review it, but lost it, as England were 477 for six from 473 for four. In his 536 minute vigil at the crease, Root scored 218 of 377 balls with 19 fours and two sixers .
The two quick wickets brought Jos Butler and Dom Bess together and the former was lucky to survive as he edged Washington Sundar to Rishab Pant, but was given not out by the umpire.Since, India lost all the reviews, Butler survived after England crossed the 500 mark, but was soon castled by Ishant Sharma, who bowled his heart out with the old ball (as new ball was not taken)--taking two wickets in two balls, to take his tally to 299 wickets in 98 tests.After bowling Butler (30, 51 balls, 5x4), Ishant breached Jofra Archer's defence of the next ball, but was denied a hat-trick by Jack Leach. India could have had one more wicket had Rohit Sharma not dropped a sitter at midwicket of Bess (on 19) when he tried to flick Washington Sundar as England ended the day on a high.
Following is the scoreboard :
England (first innings):
Rory Burns c Rishab Pant b R Ashwin 33
Dom Sibley lbw Jasprit Bumrah 87
Dan Lawrence lbw Jasprit Bumrah 0
Joe Root lbw Shahbaz Nadeem 218
Ben Stokes c Pujara b Shahbaz Nadeem 82
Ollie Pope lbw R Ashwin 34
Jos Butler b Ishant Sharma 30
Dom Bess (batting) 28